Whether you’re traveling to the beach in the next city or thousands of miles away it isn’t any more dangerous than stepping out of your own front door. You can never have too much knowledge or too many skills to keep yourself safe no matter where in the world you are.
1. Write down the address to your accommodation in both English and the native language in your phone notes and in a notebook. Your phone batteries can die.
2. When you’re walking alone at night try to walk slightly behind a couple. This will make it seem you are not alone.
3. Ask for help if you feel uncomfortable. You can stop to ask for help. You can even walk into a hotel that’s not yours to ask for help.
4. One drink will impair you. You’re a target for all types of crimes just by being a tourist. If you are drunk you are a bigger target.
5. Do a security sweep of your hotel room. Check for cameras. Keep your hotel door locked and never open it for someone you don’t know. Meet all of your guest in the hotel lobby. Try to get a room near the front desk or the elevator.
6. Make two copies of your passport. Leave one copy at home with a friend or family member and take the other copy with you. When you go out, take the copy with you and leave the original in a hotel safe until you are ready to travel again.
7. There is a lot of tech that can help keep you safe. Get an international sim card. You can pop this into your phone and have internet everywhere. Use Google Maps. They show you where a cab is taking you. Google Translate can help out ask locals questions.
8. Don’t take cabs that aren’t registered with the city. Don’t use “Private Cars” for transportation.
9. Know the local custom for clothing. Wearing the right clothes is a sign of respect. Islamic countries have dress code guidelines that are strictly enforced. Walking topless in Barcelona, Spain is illegal for both sexes.
10. Take a self-defense class. You will feel more empowered. It’s a good investment in your personal safety.
11. Always cover your hand when entering your PIN number at an ATM. Take a close look at ATM machines before you use them. Pull on the card reader to make sure nothing has been added. Check for tampering. If the ATM machine eats your card, run your finger along the card slot to see if you feel your card. A scam called the “Lebanese Loop” may be at play. It’s a trick where a thin plastic sleeve captures your card preventing the machine from reading it. As soon as you walk away to get help a thief yanks it out and runs off with your card. Check the area around the ATM. If something seems wrong use another machine.
12. Injuries can happen when you travel even if you are careful. Carrying a basic first aid kit is always a good idea. You should stock the basics to treat cuts, sprains and stomach issues.
13. Carrying a safety whistle and rubber doorstop when you travel solo too.
14. Don’t be scammed by a handsome man or a beautiful lady. You’re not in love. You’re being scammed.
15. Change your routine. Thieves look for patterns. If you jog, take another safe trail each day.
16. Diarrhea affects about 50% of all travelers to developing countries. You can reduce your risk if you:
Eat foods that are well cooked
Drink only bottle water, soda, beer, or wine in there original containers. Hot coffee and teas are generally safe.
Avoid salads, buffet foods, raw or uncooked meats, raw vegetables, grapes berries, dairy foods, tap water and ice cubes.
Take diarrhea medication with you.
17. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes. Blisters can become a problem. Wear cotton or wool socks. Inserts for your shoes can also help when you’re walking.
18. If you’re going mountain climbing, height matters. The oxygen level decreases, as you get higher. To be safer:
Start slowly. Start below 9,000 ft.
Allow yourself time to adjust. Take a day to rest before you start your climb.
Limit your climb to 3,000 ft. a day.
Avoid alcohol and smoking which includes e-cigarettes.
Remember you don’t have to get to the top.
19. Motion sickness can be a problem when you vacation too. Some tips include:
Don’t smoke or sit near a smoker.
Focus on the horizon or s distant stationary object. Never read.
Take an over the counter medication for motion sickness before you get sick.
If you become sick, eating dry crackers or drinking a carbonated drink may help settle your stomach.
20. There are a lot of great causes in other countries. Don’t join the cause during vacation. Public demonstrations and civil disturbances can be punishable by death.
Vacations are fun. I still hope I get to have one this year.
Before starting your fitness program, consult your physician.